About S P Mukharjee
Syama Prasad Mookerjee was born in a Bengali family on 6 July 1901 in Calcutta (Kolkata) . His father was Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, a judge of the High Court of Judicature at Fort William, Bengal, who was also Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta. His mother was Lady Jogamaya Devi Mukherjee. Eminent writer and Himalaya lover Umaprasad Mukhopadhyay was his younger brother.
Syama Prasad grew up to be “an introvert, rather insular, a reflective person; also an emotional person”, who needed someone else by his side to give him emotional support. He was seriously affected by the early death of his wife Sudha Devi and never remarried.
Mookerjee obtained his degrees from the University of Calcutta. He graduated in English securing the first position in first class in 1921 and also completed an MA in Bengali(on his father’s advice) and stood first in 1923 and completed his BL in 1924. He became a fellow of the Senate in 1923. He enrolled as an advocate in Calcutta High Court in 1924 after his father had died. Subsequently he left for England in 1926 to study at Lincoln’s Inn and became a Barrister-at-Law in 1927. At the age of 33, he became the youngest Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta (1934), and held the office till 1938. During his term as Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University he invited Rabindranath Tagore to give Convocation Address in Bengali in 1937, for the first time in history.
He was married for 11 years and had five children – the last one, a four-month old son, died from diphtheria. His wife died of pneumonia shortly afterwards.